Phase separation buffers noise in cells

Now, the paper got published in Science! Congratulations to Adam and all the coauthors. And check out the perspective article about the paper from the Brangwynne lab (@Brangwynnelab), as well as the press article from the CSBD and from the CBG .

We are excited to share our pre-print which explores how phase separation affects noise in cells. The question of how cells manage to tightly control protein concentrations has been a long-standing challenge in biology. In collaboration with the Zechner and Jülicher groups, we now show in theory and experiments that liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) can be a very effective mechanism to buffer protein concentrations against gene expression noise.

The protein condensates used in our study dissolve during mitosis so that the protein concentration in the dilute, bulk phase is no longer buffered and variability becomes apparent.

In conclusion our results suggest a novel role of phase separation for gene regulation and biological information processing.

See below a mitosis movie of the tagged DDX4 protein construct

Click for the pdf of the preprint or go to the biorxiv page

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